Sea levels will rise, but not yet
A SEA level rise that could wipe Coffs Coast beaches off the map is a natural process and the risk rests with property owners, according to a draft government policy.
The long-awaited State Government's draft Sea Level Rise Policy Statement claims oceans are likely to rise by 40cm by 2050 and 90cm by 2100.
An online program by MapData Sciences that tracks the consequences of sea level rise shows that no beach on the Coffs Coast would be spared by an increase of 1m.
Beaches from Woolgoolga to Sawtell would cease to exist, and the predicted sea level rise would also submerge Little Muttonbird Island, cover the boardwalk at Englands Park, put parts of the Coffs Harbour Regional Airport underwater and raise Boambee Creek to a point where it would encroach on the Toormina Playing Fields.
The draft policy is the government's benchmark for councils to assess developments and potential risks posed by climate change in the future.
“Coastal hazards and flooding are natural processes and the risks to properties from these processes appropriately rests with the property owners,” the policy states.
• To see how sea level rise would affect your area, go to http://flood.firetree.net.